Linking you to resources and support in the lung cancer community!

I was so disillusioned with the cancer center in my home town I went to Duke in NC, as my daughter lives there.  I loved it there; however, I am not sure what treatment I will be receiving yet.  I am in the process where they are checking tumor markers, etc as to whether I will be eligible to receive the pill, a clinical trial or traditional chemo.

Does top quality care and expertise carry more weight?  What about the desire to be home or near home where children could rotate assisting in care and I also have doggies I dearly love. 

I was just diagnosed 5 days after Thanksgiving and am still kind of in shock as I thought I was in such great health.  Any advice or ideas?  

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Comment by firstladygonzo on January 21, 2014 at 9:27pm

I'm in Tavares, FL.  That is near Mt. Dora.  I am looking at the Central Florida Cancer Center on Rollins right by Florida Hospital South.  I definitely did not like the one in Tavares at Waterman.  I am very pleased with Duke, but would rather be closer to home.  Yes, I know about Moffitt, just wasn't sure about it specializing in lung cancer or not.  I have a friend who goes there. Thanks again.



Comment by DavidatpMOD on January 21, 2014 at 7:55pm

Hi again Firstlady. I just looked at your page. We are almost neighbors. We live in San Antonio (just north of Tampa between Dade City and Brooksville). What cancer center are you looking at in Orlando? I go to the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and would very strongly recommend checking that center out. It's one of the top 20 rated cancer centers in the country.  I've been a patient there for 5 years and a volunteer for 2 years. It's a wonderful place.  Let me know if you have any questions about the center and if I don't have the answer(s) I can try to find them.    

You can check on getting your babies registered as service dogs at the National Service Animal Registry. Thier email address is:  Phone:  866-737-3930 ... Good luck, God bless and keep the faith...




Comment by firstladygonzo on January 21, 2014 at 2:32pm

Thanks David, I am going back to Duke on the 31st, if they don't want to see me sooner now that I have a new metastatic lesion in the lumbar spine.  I think I am pretty well prepared to make a decision as to where I want to be based upon the treatment I am going to receive.  I will be checking out a cancer center in Orlando in a couple of days, which is much closer to home.  However, will decide when I get to Duke.  Thank you again and also thanks for the info on the doggies.  How in the world do I go about getting them to be ESA's?  I don't know where to start. I like Yorkies too, almost got one and then chose the Schnauzers.  Glad to hear you are doing well.  That sounds very promising to me.  Blessings and prayers for both you and your wife.


Comment by DavidatpMOD on January 21, 2014 at 8:25am

Hi, I just wanted to say that I fully agree with all Meribeth said. I would also add that you might look into getting one or more of your precious fur babies to become ESA(Emotional Support Animal) dogs.  You will then be allowed to take them into many places you would normally not be able to. Our little yorkie is the love of our lives and I don't know what we would do without him. I just celebrated my five year cancer anniversary Jan 13th and my wife has rheumatoid arthritis and he is such a comfort. Anyway, just wanted to add my two cents. Good luck, God bless and keep the faith...



Comment by Maribeth Wall on January 16, 2014 at 4:48pm

Hi there - Sorry that you have to go through this.  All I can say is wherever you feel comfortable and trust the doctor who is working for you. I know for myself, I started with a doctor close to home, but after a year I realized I needed a doctor who specializes in lung cancer.  Then I switched to University of Chicago, where I have a doctor who specializes in lung cancer.  I don't want to say it is about top quality care, because to me it is.  I just know that the universities are teaching schools and have access to clinical trials that smaller cancer places may not have.  It doesn't mean the smaller cancer places can't access these clinical trials, you just have to be an advocate for yourself.  

Being near friends and or family I think is important.  When you are going through treatment it is nice to have someone available to help you out.  It might be just a drive to your appointment, or someone to cook for you, or as you said, take care of your doggies.  

In the end, it is about your comfort level, does the the doctor specialize in lung cancer, does the doctor and his team have your health in his best interest.    I know it is mind numbing to figure it all out.  Probably why I stayed with the local doctor for a year because I couldn't come to grips that I actually had this disease.

So yes, your big universities, like Duke, have access to treatments and trials that smaller places may not have.

It is hard decision.  All I can say is have a friend or two, or family to help you on those days you just don't have the energy.  

Hang in there.  As I look at lung cancer, it is a roller coaster ride, with many twists and turns.  

You are in my thoughts and prayers.  I will be celebrating 7 years of surviving in May.  There are other people who are longer survivors here.  


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